After two gigs of punk-pop-rock-whatever I went to photograph something different, still pop, but with a much different mood: Paolo Nutini.
To be honest I didn't know a single song about this artist, I knew the name, I knew it was some sort of pop singer, and I thought he had good chances to have good lights and to be a good gig to photograph. I just heard a few songs a couple of hours before going to the gig, and while it's not exactly my cup of tea, I definitely can't call him a commercial "product", even if it's music it's pretty popular (especially between the gentle sex) he is a proper Artist, with capital A.
Light wise it was a bit less bright than what I expected, but still a very good gig to shoot. Obviously the main lights were pointed on him, but I can't say that the rest of the band was left in the shade, they were pretty well lit as well, maybe the only problem I can say is the fact that Paolo Nutini had two very warm spotlights pointed at him and I had to play a bit on Lightroom to make him less "warm" (I know that all the girls would like to say "hot").
Anyway, overall it's a really good artist to photograph, decent lights, and no photo release to sign, despite his popularity, which is always a really good thing.
Down here you can find some of the best shots, while here you can find the full set.
It's been a while since the last time I posted a timelapse, but as I planned, a trip in Iceland this summer I had to watch as much videos of Iceland I could find, and this one is pretty impressive, shot between february and march during a massive X-class solar flare and coronal mass ejection hitting the atmosphere of our lovely planet, it shows how spectacular and powerful can be mother nature, and thankfully landscape photographer and filmmaker Henry Jun Wah Lee didn't use any Sigur Ros song, unlike the other 99,9% of timelapses about Iceland.
Here we are with the photos I took last month! I don't have much to show you this time as gigs and a photo shoot I took for an artist monopolised my spare time, but at least I found an afternoon to go with a good friend and photographer Giuseppe Milo (check it out his flickr page) to take some proper landscapes shots down in Dún Laoghaire. Anyway, down here you can find some of the best shots, while you can find the rest on this set on flickr.
About 3 months ago, as some of you probably already noticed it, I bought my first mirrorless: the Fujifilm X-E1 . And after these months I think I get a proper idea of how good or bad is this camera.
This is not going to be an extremely detailed review of the performances of this camera, I didn't do any scientific tests, apart a few photos to compare with my Canon 6D, it's just my experience with this camera.
Why I bought this camera
The main reason I wanted this camera was primary to have a good camera always with me, as I don't like to carry my heavy DSLR with me all the times, and maybe because I'm getting older my back told me that he had enough of heavy camera bags, so I needed something light & small, but at the same time I wanted to have a DSLR-like image quality, something that I can't have with a more traditional compact camera or even a prosumer.
Now, if you spend some minutes looking at my website, you will notice that I'm not the kind of photographer who gets stuck with one specific type of photography. I shoot music, I shoot landscapes, portraits, street, anything I find interesting, in one way or another, it ends up in a photo.
Also I wasn't looking for a replacement for my full frame DSLR, I'm not that silly, and as maybe some photographers can easily claim that they sold they DSLR in favour of a mirrorless and they are happy with it, it's not my case. For how good can be, a mirrorless camera, any of the mirrorless cameras I saw, can do what I can do with my Canon 6D, alongside the pro lenses I bought over the years; and for many reasons: the AF is not as fast as my DSLR, the low ISO and high ISO performances are not as good as my DSLR, and etc...
I wanted a camera that as a "good enough" performances for the moments I don't carry the big brother around, that's it. Something I can use mainly for street photography and some occasional landscapes or portraits, but I didn't need a replacement, but just something to fill a gap.
So after months of reading reviews online, thinking which camera would suits me better, I opted for the Fuji X-E1. I knew the X-E2 was already out, but the improvements of the newer model over the old one it didn't justify the extra money I had to pay for. So after I sold my old and beloved Canon 7D, with that money I went straight to one of the local camera store and I got the little Fuji with the kit lens, the Fujinon 18-55 f/2.8-4 XF R OIS, a bit dark lens for what I'm used to, but still a really good lens for that price.
After years spent in mastering the art of photography, after thousands and thousands of euro spent to buying new DSLR, lenses, accessories, etc... I finally decided that I no longer need any of that, and I sold all my gear and my computer. Good bye hours spent in photoshop retouching a bloody portrait or a landscape, good bye heavy gear that only wrecked my shoulders and my back, good bye hours spent outdoor for taking just a bloody picture, and welcome iPhone 5S & Instagram!
Yes, the future is there, right on your palm! Who needs to learn Photoshop and Lightroom when you can achieve the same effect only with a smartphone and a retro filter? If I really want to take real pictures, well then I'm prepared as well, as with all the money I got from my gear I managed to buy a special edition of an Holga, yeah it looks like a toy, yeah maybe it's way overpriced, but just wonder how cool I'll look with one of those? That's priceless!
From now on, my only subjects will be pets, my lunch, and photos of my new friends I met last saturday night in Temple Bar (I think they are Canadian but I'm not sure, one of them has a t-shirt of Nickelback so I assume they are), that's it!
The era of myself wasting time to take good pictures is gone, now I'm ready for the future!
I could possibly copy and paste most of the text I wrote for Fall Out Boy, as the two bands share a lot of similarities, and once again the formula (pop-rock bands = loads of lights) is confirmed. What is different maybe is the attitude of the band, with All Time Low the fact that these bands sometimes are mostly like a bag of chips, a product to sell to a specific range of customers AKA fans, even if these subjects think, in my opinion, that they are "alternative", they do as a can of Pepsi is alternative to one of Coke.
Anyway, that's the show business and I'm not here to talk about the (lack of) ethic.
So, as a photographer it was a really good show to photograph, possibly they had even more lights of Fall Out Boy, as at some point I could shoot at f/2.5 and 1/1000 of a second as an example, which is pretty bright in my opinion, and I think a few times I set the shutter speed at even faster speeds, like 1/1600, and this doesn't happen often at gigs.
But even if the numbers of four stars photos (where 2 stars is decent, 3 is good, 4 is extremely good and 5 is perfect, but I probably give 5 stars to my pictures once a year) were more than the Fall Out Boy, I still think the other gig was better in some way.
Anyway, All Time Low are a very good band to photograph and if you can take the chance to snap them, even if you don't like their music, but if you are 25 yo or older like me, unless you are a priest, be prepare to feel extremely old compared to average age of the audience, which is around 12 yo, and a good 95% were girls, which can scream way louder than the band.
So, down here some of the best photos I took that night, but as always you can find the full set on my flickr account.
Thanks for reading.
After three gigs shot almost in the dark, last week I finally saw the light with Fall Out Boy!
Ok lets make it clear from the start: their music is not my pair of socks, I'm probably too old for that kind of music, and I felt very old at the venue as the average age of the audience was probably 18. But, despite the fact that generally I wouldn't listen more than two songs of these guys, they are a really good band live, and what's more important for me, they are great to photograph.
In fact the reason I went to this gig was primary because I knew it couldn't be a dark one. Young (well not that much as the bassist is one year older than me) bands that play pop music is a guarantee of good lights, and I wasn't wrong as I got tons of lights.
I also have to say that last week I shot three gigs in a row, and they were all well lit, but I had to say that the Fall Out Boy ones was probably the most interesting to photograph for me.
There's nothing else to add from the photography point of view as it was a top notch gig for lights, very well lit, the band members move a lot on stage and they are pretty dynamic on stage, and it was just perfect for me.
Also there were no photo release bullshits to sign, which is another bonus, especially for bands of this level.
So, down here you can find some of the best photos I took that night, and on my flickr account you can find the pretty populated set (45 photos!!).
A couple of times in the past I've mentioned a few venues where I don't like to shoot, just because it's a big pain in the arse, and essentially these venues has one or even all these problems:
- No pit
- Awful lights (or the lack of lights)
- No room to move if it's sold out or very crowded
And a week ago I've been asked to photograph a band, Corner Boy, in one of the venues that has all these three point: Whelan's. Last time I shoot a gig in that venue was in 2011, almost 3 years ago, and if I didn't shoot in that place for a long time there's a reason.
I don't want to sound like someone that completely hates that venue, which is not, as if you are just a punter, someone who just want to see a good gig, that's a great place, you can see great bands and at the same time have that sense of intimacy that sometimes bigger venues don't have. But I'm a photographer, and for me the (lack of) the points mentioned above are crucial.
Now lets talk about the band: Corner Boy.
I didn't know them at all, and while I can appreciate their music genre, I think that type of music is a bit oversaturated at the moment, and when they (not the band but who paid me for the gig) asked me to stay for the whole gig, something that I don't do very often, which is an euphemism for "practically never", adding the fact I was shooting on a venue I don't like to shoot, I wasn't exactly thrilled about it. But while it was terrible to shoot, I have to say that these guys are great, I really enjoyed their show from start to end, and they made me hope they'll become the next big thing, because otherwise would be a big waste in music, as these guys has tons of talent to sell.
But how was to shoot them? Well, not easy. Essentially whelan's has this light setup: two LEDs lights for each side, some spotlights on the back of the stage (which they never used for this gig) and four spot lights pointing at the same point on the stage, and the fact that the lead singer was in that place and at the same time he was wearing a white shirt, it was like when you shoot at the sky at night, and you have the full moon that kills all the stars around it.
I could only choose to expose for the other members or the lead singer, and then hoping to recover what I could with Lightroom.
So I did enjoy shooting back at Whelan's? No at all.
I did enjoy to see this good band in Whelan's? Definitely yes.
Down here you can find some of the photos I took that night, and as usual the full set on my flickr account.
There are some gigs where you already know how they are going to be far before you even get to the venue, like pop bands 99% of the times you know they will be well lit. And that was the feeling I had before going to photograph Metronomy. Well they are not that pop obviously, but I was pretty sure it was going to be a great gig to photograph, but unfortunately I was wrong this time.
And Metronomy were one of the bands I really wanted to see this year, I had high expectations from their live show, and while I can certainly say that they are a really good band. If you spent money to see this guys on stage, you will definitely not going to be disappointed for that, and to be fair if seen from your bare yes it looks really good, it's visually interesting, but if you have to photograph them it's a problem, especially because we have only the first three songs to shoot them, and let me tell you, on the first two songs, apart from some initial spotlights on the frontman while he was playing the piano, I thought someone forgot to turn on the lights, or at least there were some technical problems. Things got better on the third song, but just by a notch.
At the end of the day I manage to bring home only 19 good shots, which is a low number for my standards, and nothing with that "wow" factor that I got from other gigs like Chvrches or The 1975.
So, really good live band, but just okay to photograph for me.
Down here some of the "best" shots I took that night, and as usual you can find the full set on my flickr account.
I love Wes Anderson's movies, I love the stories he tells and I love how he shot them. It's use of symmetry, alongside with specific colour gradings are his trademark. So I couldn't post this video I found today on PetaPixel.